1.3.1 Gaia mission
The European Space Agency launched a mission in 2013 to study the stars. The mission is called Gaia.
Gaia’s main objective is to measure the position of 1 billion (1,000,000,000) stars, and measure the speed that they move at, creating a 3D map of the Galaxy. This will be the largest dataset so far, and will provide astronomers with a wealth of information covering a wide range of research fields: from Solar System studies, galactic astronomy, and cosmology to general relativity.
In the next section, you’ll find out about The Open University’s involvement with Gaia.